Monday, 6 May 2013

An unusually warm Bank Holiday weekend

Our small garden was a hive of activity yesterday, 2 Holly Blue butterflies the diurnal highlight along with various White sp. passing through. That evening, 2 Pipistrelle Bats were hunting at rooftop level.
The bulk of our day was spent at Cley, enjoying an excellent crab salad at Cookies after a short walk around the reserve. Avocets were noisily about their business, and 2 Little-ringed Plover were also on the scrape keeping their distance. A Lesser Whitethroat was heard along Old Woman's Lane, and the expected Marsh Harriers were soaring over the reedbed. Unexpectedly, a group of c30 Brent Geese dropped in to graze. Surely the latest into the breeding season I have seen this species in Norfolk.

Today, the temperature cranked up another couple of degrees to 19, I enjoyed a stroll round Wheatfen. For once, I didn't have the reserve to myself. A Cuckoo was heard and was subsequently new for the year. Whitethroat were everywhere, as were Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers. Speckled Wood and Orange Tip were on the wing, the first time I have caught up with either of these species this year. I stumbled upon the tail end of at least 4 snakes, probably Grass, but they were too quick for me, disappearing into the reedbed on each occasion. I spent some time scanning the skies over Strumpshaw, for 2 Common Crane had been reported earlier in the day. No luck on that front, but I did pick out a kettle of 5 Buzzards and the resident Marsh Harriers.
Rockland Broad, and another Cuckoo was heard. A Garden Warbler, new for the year, shared a piece of scrub with the more obvious Whitethroats. Best birds were undoubtedly 2 Common Tern, fishing the broad itself and engaging in a bit of chase. Perhaps they will make use of one of the platforms and breed this year.

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